Book Review: Time and Time Again, by Ben Elton

Title: Time and Time Again
Author: Ben Elton
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: B

Blurb: 

If you had one chance to change history…Where would you go? What would you do? Who would you kill?

In Time and Time Again, international best-selling author Ben Elton takes readers on a thrilling journey through early 20th-Century Europe.

It’s the first of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.

Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.

Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century? And, if so, could another single bullet save it?

Thoughts:

Time and Time Again is that rare find: a time travel story done right. Immediately after reading it, I was blown away. The foundation Elton lays is excellent, and the twists and paradoxes make sense in the context of the story. True, I figured one or two things out before they were revealed, but I think that was intentional, as I’m generally one of the most credulous readers you’ll meet: I hardly ever figure out what’s going to happen before it does.

Staunton is sympathetic in his grief for his lost family, and believable as a man from the not-too-distant future running around in the past. I like the mechanics of this version of time travel (Isaac Newton! Mysterious societies! Hand-wavy science!) and the descriptions of life in 2024.

On closer inspection, a couple of things got to me, both large and small.  The story was a bit rushed towards the end, and the dialogue in the last few chapters felt stilted, which was more noticeable because of how much smoother it had been towards the beginning.  There were also a few loose threads that weren’t tied up, perhaps intentionally, and the introduction of a new character later in the book broke the rule of “show, don’t tell”.  That said, I didn’t notice these flaws until after I’d finished speeding through the book.

In any case, you may see where the story is going before you get there, but I think you’ll enjoy the ride. Time and Time Again is out now.

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Blog Tour: An Interview with KJ Charles (and a Giveaway!)

The Breakfast Octopus is proud to present an interview with KJ Charles as part of her blog tour for A Seditious Affair, out this Tuesday, December 15th. You can check out my A+ review here.

Title: A Seditious Affair
Author: KJ Charles
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: December 15th, 2015
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: A+

Blurb: 

K. J. Charles turns up the heat in her new Society of Gentlemen novel, as two lovers face off in a sensual duel that challenges their deepest beliefs.
 
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.

And now, on to the interview! Thanks for being here today!

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Review: Captive Prince and Prince’s Gambit, by CS Pacat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titles: Captive Prince and Prince’s Gambit
Author: CS Pacat
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 7, 2015 and July 7, 2015
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: A

Blurbs:

Captive Prince: From global phenomenon C. S. Pacat comes the first in her critically acclaimed trilogy

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

Prince’s Gambit: The second novel in the critically acclaimed trilogy from global phenomenon C. S. Pacat

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…

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Pre-Release Review and Giveaway: A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles

 

Title: A Seditious Affair
Author: KJ Charles
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: December 15th, 2015
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: A+

Thanks to Loveswept for sending this review copy!

Blurb: 

K. J. Charles turns up the heat in her new Society of Gentlemen novel, as two lovers face off in a sensual duel that challenges their deepest beliefs.
 
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.

Continue reading